Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Healthcare in Retirement? What Are We Thinking?

There's an interesting new study out from Sun Life Financial that looks at how we currently think about healthcare during retirement.

The study doesn't pretend to give us answers. Its purpose is to see what or how we're approaching retirement healthcare issues.

At least we ARE thinking about it, or at least those of us coming up on retirement are.

But I have to admit, with my retirement date 7.5 years away, the only things I know for sure are that I will be eligible for Medicare (since I expect to retire at age 69, well beyond the date Medicare kicks in, at age 65) and I will have to pay for some level of additional coverage.

I'm not sure that qualifies as a "plan."

While I am lucky to have pretty good health benefits from my current employer, there will be no pension and no continued employer-paid healthcare when I leave. I will have Social Security, Medicare, and my 401 (k). Period.

Where I am fortunate is that I'm not among the 9% of the study responders who have already raided their retirement savings to cover unanticipated medical costs. As longtime readers know, my $47,000 quadruple by-pass surgery two years ago cost me a mere $50 in out-of-pocket medications and follow-up office visits.

At some point, I need to assign a dollar figure to what I will need and what I can get in additional health insurance coverage. To me, that's the point at which I will have a genuine plan.

I did find the study interesting when it posited that 53% of those responding are changing their lifestyle in more positive directions. I believe that, but I'm not sure I believe it is because these people are concerned about future health care costs.

For myself, I'm trying to get healthier because I can't stop getting older, and I'd like to stave off death as long as possible!


Anonymous said...

Good luck!

Florence said...

We need healthcare for everyone at all ages!! I had a $35,000 hospitalization which cost me essentially nothing because I had employer sponsored health insurance; what if I had been among the unemployed??
Glad to hear you are making plans and taking good care of your health.

Bob Lowry said...

Except for the first few years at the beginning of my career, I have been in the individual health care market for 35 years. I still have 3 more years to go before I am eligible for Medicare.

If I have some major medical problem between now and age 65 I'm pretty sure I'll be spending more than $50. In fact with a $5,000 deductible plus 20% above that I'd be lucky to get out with less than a five figure bill.

It is not necessary to be unemployed to be one step away from a huge financial hit. Health care scares me more than anything else about retirement. And for the privilege of all this fear I get to pay 15% more every year to my insurance company.

MasterPo said...

MasterPo's mother had Medicare and paid for supplimental coverage. That served her well throughout retirement and didn't break the bank.

OTOH, when Medicare Part-D came along that did break the bank because her private insurance formerly had much better coverage than part-D. IMO that's where you're going to get financially raped the most. If you need many many meds constantly in old age Part-D is decent. But if you're of good to decent health with a small number of RX's you'll pay through the nose!

Thank you President Bush. :-P